So you've met bae and it's finally time to take it to the next step in your relationship. Meeting the parents! This can be an exciting milestone for some and a much more cumbersome experience for others. Will appa and amma even approve and trust your judgement with a decision that could last a lifetime? Will they withhold their blessings in the hopes of ending your courtship? Or will bringing them together solidify your relationship even further?
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#1: Depends on How Long You've Dated
According to the popular dating app Hinge, millennials tend to introduce their significant others too soon - within 2 months of dating! As exciting as it may feel to finally have found the ‘one’, getting to know each other in those few short months is not going to give you a complete representation or idea of a person. When you introduce bae too soon, you may run the risk of sabotaging a perfectly good relationship before it can even blossom. Influences from others, especially from our parents can distort our perception of our partner and shed them in a negative light. PsychologyToday suggests that it takes AT LEAST 6 months to really get to know a person and feel comfortable with them. If you can’t seem to connect with your partner beyond the surface level, then this is a telltale sign that your parents may also see red flags and disapprove of this courtship altogether.
#2: Depends on Where You’ve Met
Your parents may question your ability to make informed decisions if you’ve created a codependency with them. With that being said, parents may weigh in with their decisions to make sure that your partner is a good fit for you and the entire family.
Where you ultimately meet your significant other can determine the fate and longevity of your relationship. For instance, if you had met your significant other in high school and had been high school sweethearts for several years now, then it is safe to say you’ve built a strong enough foundation and have a good understanding of whether or not your relationship would stand the test of time. Not only does experience stack up your odds of getting approval from your parents but in turn, it would also create a sense of guilt within them if they were responsible for breaking up a long history of courtship and love. If however, you’ve met your match at a bar/club, it would be challenging for you to convince amma and appa that you’ve found the ‘one’. Hypothetically speaking, would you really feel comfortable knowing that your daughter or son could potentially end up with an alcoholic or a player? No Tamil parent would want this for their child and although it may seem narrow-minded to some based on the environment chosen in this scenario, unfortunately this IS the reality of the situation and how many Tamil parents would see things. Either you can choose to withhold this information from your parents if you know what the outcome will be, or you can carry on dating this person until you are 100% certain that they possess all of the criteria you require in a lifelong partner.
#3: Depends On Whether You Consider Yourself Family Oriented
As much as it would be great to receive blessings from the two most important people in your life, there is still that possibility that your parents may never come around to accepting your relationship. If it ever gets to this point, you must ask yourself, are you okay to live with the fact that you may have to carry on life without them or their blessing? Do you consider yourself to be a family oriented person? Do you care about staying close knit with the family? There are a lot of things to consider once you drop the bomb on your parents. If you are ready for marriage and you do not receive their approval, are you and your partner able to support yourself financially? You might even need to move in with the in-laws until you become financially stable. You must also ask yourself if your partner is worth taking that leap of faith for. These are all the serious questions you must consider before introducing your significant other to the family.
#4: Depends on Whether You’ve Met Each Other’s Friends
Before you can even think about acquainting your partner with your parents, it is important to see how they interact with your friends. It would be wise to introduce your boyfriend or girlfriend to your friends circle to see how they fare in a group setting. If your partner is incapable of getting along with your friends, this may be a good indication of whether they would be able to fit in with your family. After all, your true friends know you best and can be a reliable source to go to if you’re looking for an honest opinion. Taking this big step in your relationship can also be reassuring to your partner as it confirms that you are taking them seriously. You do however need to be cautious with whom you choose to introduce them to. Some friends may actually sabotage a perfectly good relationship. They may project their own beliefs of an ideal partner onto you which might not actually work for YOU. Be careful not to seek love advice from the wrong people. At the end of the day, you want to be in a healthy and loving relationship. Seek advice from friends that are in healthy relationships themselves.
All in all, make sure you factor in all these possibilities before taking on this relationship milestone. Do not run the risk of introducing your partner too soon or too late as it could jeopardize a perfectly good relationship. Let’s face it, we all envision our partner to be the person we end up with at the altar. Be wise not to string anyone along nor call it quits before it even blossoms. Call me old fashioned if you like, but in my opinion, it is best to meet the parents once you are 100% convinced that you are with the right person for the long haul.
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